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Newcastle United need to heal as a team

By Lee Ryder on Nov 18, 12 01:56 PM


Just like Newcastle United's season has been fragmented through injuries, suspensions and the stop-start nature of life in the Europa League, the Magpies' team play has suffered badly in the last two games.

Of course just three narrow goal victories all season in the Premier League shows that the free flowing Newcastle United that blasted their way to six successive wins last season and stayed in the top seven for almost the whole campaign, are yet to turn up.

The valid questions still remain over the squad strength at St James' Park and whether it is really equipped to tackle life in two competitions.

This is not a new trend.

Many have feared over the lack of depth since August when the window slammed shut with just Vurnon Anita through the door in terms of a senior signing.

Having guided Newcastle to the top five last term and into Europe for the first time since 2006 many pundits, fans and observers wondered if Alan Pardew would be rewarded with a few quid to bolster his team.

But that didn't happen and big name purchases like Mathieu Debuchy, Luuk De Jong and Douglas all fell through as the numbers didn't match the United blueprint.

Many are now looking to January to see if there will be any improvement when it comes to numbers.

And although January is arguably the toughest trading period of the year, there's no doubt United must dig deep to avoid losing touch with the top end of the table.

For now though, the current crop of players must get it together and push on.

When Demba Ba grabbed his eighth goal of the season it summed things up for the Magpies so far.

Ba's stats stand up with the best goal-getters in the Premier League, but it meant nothing to Newcastle United overall against Swansea.

Hatem Ben Arfa was also magnificent, but it is up to others to step up to the plate and start contributing.

Otherwise, there could be more misery on the way.

To quote Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday: "Either, we heal, now, as a team, or we will die as individuals."

Pretty fitting if you ask me.

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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